How to Enroll In an Accredited Nursing School near Catalina Foothills AZ
Searching for the right nursing program near Catalina Foothills AZ may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially if you aren't sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several important additional factors to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first review the nursing degree alternatives that are offered as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our medical system.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Catalina Foothills Arizona area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some Catalina Foothills AZ students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Why Enter the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an important component of a Catalina Foothills AZ medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to a number of opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, the most meaningful are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a hospital or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses commonly go into the profession out of a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic ailments. This human aspect of the medical profession, rather than the analytical or research related facets, is appealing to many who decide to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from a variety of work environments, such as nursing homes, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specializations, including substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While many nurses deliver personal patient care, others choose to be teachers, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Catalina Foothills AZ or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Arizona for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Catalina Foothills AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Catalina Foothills AZ area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Catalina Foothills AZ Nursing Program
Deciding on the right nursing college is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Catalina Foothills AZ.